Steph Curry: Draymond Green Is the 'Smartest Basketball Player I've Played With'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 24, 2021

Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green, right, celebrates with Stephen Curry (30) during the final minutes of Game 1 of the team's NBA basketball playoffs Western Conference finals against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

Golden State Warriors superstar guard Stephen Curry paid a major compliment to longtime teammate Draymond Green on Friday.

According to ESPN's Nick Friedell, Curry said the following about Green after Green tied his career-high of 19 assists in a 118-97 win over the Denver Nuggets:

"When he gets in a groove like that where he's getting everybody involved, and having a Draymond-type night where scoring's not really the difference-maker, it's the way that he does the intangibles. And then makes everybody better by getting the ball on time, can finish off plays. He's the smartest basketball player I've played with, and it shows in moments and games like tonight where he just finds a way to impact winning in his own way."

With Friday's win, the Warriors improved to 30-30 on the season and sit ninth in the Western Conference.

Green finished with only two points in Friday's game, but he added 12 rebounds to his 19 assists, giving him an unconventional double-double.

Meanwhile, Curry continued his torrid scoring stretch with 32 points to go along with eight rebounds and three assists.

Curry has received much of the credit for Golden State's success over the years, and rightfully so, as he is a two-time NBA MVP and arguably the greatest shooter the sport has ever seen.

Kevin Durant was also on the receiving end of tons of praise for being named NBA Finals MVP in each of the Warriors' two most recent championship wins, although he has since moved on to the Brooklyn Nets.

With Klay Thompson in the midst of missing his second consecutive season due to injury, Curry and Green are the last stars standing from the Dubs' run of three titles in four years from 2015-18.

The numbers suggest that the 31-year-old Green may not be the same player he once was. Green was named an All-Star in three straight seasons from 2016-18, and he averaged 11.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.4 blocks per game during that three-year stretch.

His production has steadily dropped since then, although he is averaging a career-high 8.7 assists per contest this season to go along with 6.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals.

Much of the glory has gone to Curry this season, as he has put together another MVP-caliber campaign, but it is fair to say that Golden State would not be in the playoff hunt without Green.

As of now, the Warriors are in a position to take part in the play-in tournament for a chance to reach the postseason. That is no small feat considering they were the worst team in the NBA last season with both Curry and Thompson on the shelf.

Given the skill level of Curry and Green, plus their championship-winning experience, it is fair to say that most teams would likely prefer to avoid the Dubs in the playoffs this season.